Unusual circumstances, geographies and risk concentrations contributed to higher-than-normal natural catastrophe losses, notes German reinsurer Munich Re, which points to the first half of 2010 as being marked by an exceptionally large number of natural catastrophes and the scale of the losses they caused.

From January until the end of June, 440 events were registered, the second highest figure for this period since 2000, and overall losses of US $70B were recorded, notes the reinsurer. This figure already exceeds the total for 2009 as a whole and is well above the first-half average for the past ten years. Insured losses were US $22B, more than double the first-half average since 2000 and even higher than the figure for 2008, when the previous record for first-half losses was set.   “Following a relatively benign 2009, the first six months of this year were marked by three natural catastrophes ranked as great,” notes Prof. Peter Höppe, head of Munich Re’s Geo Risks Research. “Great” is the term used by Munich Re to describe events entailing billions in losses or several thousand fatalities.

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